February 10, 2008

Men's hoops cruises to biggest win of season, 88-57, over Case

WALTHAM, Mass. – The 10th-ranked Brandeis University men's basketball team scored the first 11 points of the game and never looked back, as the Judges defeated visiting Case Western Reserve University, 88-57, in a University Athletic Association (UAA) contest in Red Auerbach Arena today. The 31-point margin of victory was the Judges' largest of the season.

Brandeis (16-4, 6-3 UAA) put five players in double figures for the second straight game, as senior guard Joe Coppens (Rockland, Mass.) led the way. Coppens scored a game-high 20 points in just 20 minutes, hitting six-of-11 from the field, including two-of-three from 3-point range, and six-of-six from the line. He now needs 26 more points to become the sixth player in Brandeis history to reach 1,000 for his career. Coppens also grabbed a team-high six rebounds.

Sophomore guard Andre Roberson (Springfield, Mass.) contributed 15 points off the bench on six-of-eight from the floor with a trifecta. Junior guard Kevin Olson (Rockport, Mass.) and sophomore guard Kenny Small (Stratford, Conn.) each had 12 points, with Olson's all coming in the first half. Senior guard Florian Rexhepi (Skopje, Macdonia) had 10. Senior guard Kwame Gravers-Fulgham (Amherst, Mass.) had eight assists, a season-best, and can become the school's all-time leader with 31 more this season.

Case Western Reserve (7-13, 0-9 UAA) dropped its 11th-straight contest, as the Spartans failed to get any players in double figures in scoring. Sophomore guard Antowain Coward (Washington, D.C.) led the Spartans with nine points off the bench, hitting three-of-six from the field and three-of-five from the line. Junior Rob Skuski (Russell, Ohio) and rookie Alex Hildebrandt (Fairlawn, Ohio) each had seven points. Skuski also tied Coppens for game-high honors with six rebounds, while senior guard Brandon Bradford (Detroit, Mich.) led the way for the visitors with four assists.

Brandeis kept the Spartans off the board for the first 4:07 as they built their 11-point lead. Olson had six of his 12 points in the opening run. Case missed their first six shots and committed two turnovers in falling behind. The margin was cut to nine on a couple of occasions before the 10-minute mark, the latest at 15-6 on a Hildebrandt jumper with just over six minutes gone. The hosts answered with a 9-2 run over the next four minutes, pushing the lead to 24-8 on a Small fast-break lay-up with 9:58 left, and the lead never dipped below 13 for the rest of the game. Brandeis led by a 47-22 margin at the half, and the lead ballooned to as much as 38 in the second, as 12 of the 15 active players on the Judge roster scored points.